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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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JMM stands exposed, says Yashwant

Hazaribagh, Jan. 8: Senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha believes that allowing JMM chief Shibu Soren to head the state’s coordination committee was a big mistake. It should have been chaired by the chief minister. In the end, the BJP’s Hazaribagh MP told The Telegraph, the JMM proved to be an undependable ally. Excerpts of the conversation:

Was it wrong to form a government with the JMM?

JMM has proved to be an undependable ally. What I see as a mistake is the fact that instead of chief minister Arjun Munda, JMM supreme Shibu Soren was heading the co-ordination committee. As chairman of this co-ordination committee, it was Soren’s duty to save the government. Hence, it (the fall of the government) is his failure.

Was there any agreement on power-sharing after 28 months?

I still remember that before the formation of this government, I called Munda, Hemant Soren and Ajsu chief Sudesh Mahto to New Delhi to arrive at certain decisions on running the government in a better way. But power-sharing of 28 months was not the issue. It defies simple arithmetic, because the tenure of this Assembly was ending much before the time period of 56-months even if we were to give 28 months to each party.

What are the reasons behind this political turmoil?

There are three reasons behind the crisis: lack of a common minimum programme, no written agreement with allies and the chief minister not heading the co-ordination committee.

JMM wasn’t our first option. President’s rule is no solution in democracy. We went with it to give the state a stable government. But, finally, it disappointed.

Why wasn’t there a written agreement?

At the Delhi meeting at which Munda, Hemant and Mahto were present, I insisted on a written agreement, but the allies refused. JMM has deviated from that understanding. But it stands exposed in front of the people.

Now, the domicile question.

JMM is intentionally raising the domicile policy but the fact is that that matter was sorted out by a five-judge bench of Jharkhand High Court and state government didn’t challenge it in Supreme Court. JMM wants to play with the emotions of the people.

But, JMM wants a change of chief minister?

Who are they to suggest this to us? According to me, an election is the only and best option for Jharkhand now.

Do you have a message for the people of the state?

Vote for one party to see a majority government in the state. Otherwise, development will keep getting blocked. What Independents did to this state is not a secret. People know everything and by learning the lessons of the past 12 years, vote for one party.